In reading a recent MMD installment, I noticed a listing for a information on a "Musical Christmas Tree Stand" and problems of it not having both a cover and the cast tree cup. Many of these stands turn up but, like the stand described, many don't have the cast iron tree cup and winding key. I was more surprised to hear the cover was missing from the unit described.
I, too (like many others), was missing the cast iron tree cup on my stand, but in all other ways mine was complete. Further, I could not find a vintage cup to complete my stand. In order to get what I needed, I had to have a pattern turned and decorated with the proper design to fit the period when the stands were made. Then I sent the pattern off to a foundry to have it cast.
I think they turned out very well but it was a bit costly. I still have three others that were cast then. I also still have the pattern that the parts were cast from for any others who might want to purchase one. If anyone is looking to purchase a tree cup, I have them two ways. One is directly from the foundry the way I got them, with only the hole where the trunk of the tree fits, for $75.00.
The other way is drilled and tapped with three (T-type) tree securing screws, as originally made (see photo), and drilled to fit the stand. In this case stand must be sent. The final step in the machining process is to grind off casting slag and sandblast the part to even the look of the parts surface. The price is $100.00.
The biggest difference between the vintage cups and the cups I had cast was that my cups are flat in the inside bottom, where the tree fits. I wanted a way to tell my cups from vintage cups. (I am not trying to cheat other collectors, now or in the future, in making these replacement cups.)
Gary G. Stevenson - "Studio801"
South St. Louis, Mo.
14 Jan 2002 11:13:01 -0600